In the spirit of packing light, I often like to ask people to name one thing they can’t travel without. When its all on your back, one thing can be the difference between comfortably boarding trains and buses and collapsing on a side street in a strange country.
I decided it would be fun to expand on this idea with a series of interviews, made up entirely of “one thing” questions. Travel can be quite complicated but narrowing it down to a bunch of “one things” can portray an expressive portrait of someone’s global experiences.Our first interviewee is Megan McDonough. Megan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Bohemian Trails, an online travel magazine designed for the avant-garde traveler. She is also a freelance writer and social media specialist based in New York City.
Here are Megan’s “one things” …
…you never travel without:
My childhood blanket, however embarrassing/strange that may sound. I also can’t go very far without my glasses.
…you have learned to live without (while traveling):
A straightener – travel means embracing my naturally curly hair and not worrying too much about the frizzies.
…you learned from your first trip abroad:
To trust myself – my first time traveling abroad was for a semester studying and working in London.
…you learned from your first solo trip:
That people actually find me exotic. I’ve been mistaken for European, Egyptian, Israeli and even Argentinean.
…you ate on your travels and still dream about:
Empanadas in Concepción (small city in the province of Tucumán, Argentina). Best thing I’ve tasted anywhere.
…you tasted on your travels and will never eat again:
I ate fried pigeon my first night in Cairo and while it tasted surprisingly good, I hate pigeons dead or alive so I don’t plan on eating one again.
…that gets you through a long flight:
A blanket – I have low body temperature so I’m always cold on flights.
…helps you through homesickness:
Taking advantage of social media and using Skype to connect with friends back home.
…helps you through travel sickness when you’re home:
Planning my next trip – the travel bug seems to bite me quite frequently.
…you’re scared to do:
Bungee jump – I’m paranoid I’ll get a back injury. I’m also afraid of heights.
…you were scared to do but tried it and loved it:
Travel Solo – It forced me to be social and make friends but also it allowed me to better immerse myself in a new city/town because I observed more aspects of local life.
…you’ve gotten better at since traveling:
Being less shy – I’m now more outgoing, adventurous and culturally curious while traveling.
…you still need to work on:
Mastering foreign languages – I’m currently taking Spanish classes and would also like to brush up on French so that I can better communicate with locals in their native language.
…that will be crossed off on your bucket list this year:
Israel in May and hopefully Greece by the end of 2012, although that trip is still pending but I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
…that inspired you on your travels:
Challenging myself to go outside my comfort zone, meeting and interacting with locals and learning more about myself through these experiences.
…people always ask you about your vagabond lifestyle:
I love your life! How did you get so lucky?
…you always tell people when they ask you that:
Luck had little to do with it. Mostly it was a combination of courage to follow my dream, dedication to my vision and hope that others would understand and appreciate my point of view.
…you can’t wait to tell your grandkids about someday:
That I met the Prime Minister in Norway and confidently introduced myself despite feeling shocked and nervous.
…people should check out in your hometown:
Our Starbucks – I recently took my boyfriend home to meet my parents and he was rather impressed by the Starbucks we have in McLean, VA.
We’d like to thank Megan for being the first of (hopefully) many interviews of all different kinds of people who love travel. In collecting these interviews, we hope to communicate a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and testimonies to travel, alongside our own. More to come! (And please check out Megan’s fantastic travel magaine at www.bohemiantrails.com.)